We have been having a short pre-Christmas break at Ocean View and decided to drag ourselves away from the beach yesterday and take a short excursion to see the Animal Flower Cave at the northern tip of the island (just 9 miles from Ocean View). It was well worth the trip and we thought merited a few words here.
The final approach to the cave is along some fairly pot-holed roads but don’t be deterred. On arrival at the top of the cliffs, you will see a small cluster of craft stalls and a small bar where tickets for the cave cost BDS$ 20 for adults and BDS$ 10 for children under 12.
Views from here of the northern coast of Barbados are spectacular but descend the 27 steep coral steps (apparently created in 1912) and you reach the cave at the base of the cliff with several openings out to sea. Here the friendly guide will point out interesting formations on the walls, coloured green and brown by oxidation of copper and iron.
There are several pools and some are deep enough to swim in. Bring your swimming gear for a very unusual dip – you will be in good company as the cave was (according to our guide!) recently used as a set for a shoot with Rhianna.
So why ‘Animal Flower Cave’? Well, it seems that the locals call sea anemones ‘animal flowers’ and although fewer in number now, the pools are still home to a number of these colourful but predatory creatures.